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BT has been in for a fair amount of critism over the past.... well since it's inception really.
In the early 1980s, they made so much money that the embarrassed owners (the Tory government of the time) ordered them to reimburse some of the lucre to subscribers (as they were called pre-privatisation) before selling the whole thing off to willing investors.
BT was highly profitable throughout the 80s and early 90s, but I think it would be fair to say had a few service issues.
Nowdays, I am pleased to report, things are a whole lot better.
So, to the title of this review - clearly I have left BT - so why?
Well, NTL, the cable company who supply my broadband (1mb - so faster than BTs) and TV service basically bribe me to be a telephone customer by not charging any line rental. I'm loyal to BT, but not to the tune of £15 a month!
In my last house, we had BT and they never failed to impress me with their level of service which is streets ahead of that of NTL and other rivals.
1. Telephone calls are answered immediately by their customer services people, who have in my experience without exception been extremely polite, courteous and genuinely helpful. This is a world apart from NTL where you hang in a queue for ten minutes only to be told that the system has routed you to the wrong call centre, and the operator needs to (you guessed it) place you in a queue for the right centre... ten minutes later you find you were in the right queue the first time, and that's half an hour wasted!
I think that BT employ the right number of people on the phones -- that, and they probably receive fewer calls as I have always had my query answered right first time.
2. The bills are prompt, easy to understand and nicely presented. I have always been made aware of additional savings I could be making through a magazine that's enclosed. They have never messed up my direct debit and have never sent me a red bill.
3. The service is reliable. On cable if you hit redial, like as not the system doesn't cope and you've got to redial again. This never seems to happen on BT.
4. I had a fault on my line -- this is where the service either stands up or falls down.
I reported the fault online, and was amazed to see their online reporting system actually testing my phoneline, and showing me (with some nifty graphics) where the fault was -- in this case in the nearest BT street cabinet.
I was then able to nominate my mobile phone to take diverted calls from the home number (all at BT's expense) and received a text message to confirm the problem was being handled.
I noted that if BT hadn't sorted the problem within a day, I would receive an automatic refund to my phone bill of one months' line rental for every additional day.
In the event, their money was safe. They called me to tell me an engineer would not have to visit my house, as he should be able to fix the problem in the cabinet -- this engineer called me the very next day to tell me he'd found the fault and fixed it.
I received text messages at every stage to confirm all of this.
Amazing! So such a shame to leave really. When I moved NTL installed my cable TV and broadband, correctly in the new house, but incorrectly connected a telephone to the old house! This took two weeks to sort out! When I explained to the operator at NTL that if I were with BT I would be receiving compensation, she told me "we don't offer anything like that"!
WIth BT, I could make a 3-way call (which I do very occasionally, say, every 4 months) for 50p a time. With NTL, I have to subscribe to this service at £1 a month.... despite using it very infrequently.
Even leaving BT, they sorted out the disconnection (and sent me a text to confirm, bang on the 11 o'clock on the day we had arranged). They sent me a final bill (to the correct, new address) and on the same day a cheque from them for the account overpayment arrived. I was gobsmacked that I didn't have to chase them for this -- what company do you know that dishes it out as fast as it takes it?
In summary, I rate BT very highly. In the future, should the opportunity arise, I would not hesitate to use them again. The service is first rate - and to my mind it's no wonder that so many people who leave clearly come back!